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Europe: Shares inch lower before US healthcare vote; Credit Suisse up

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[MILAN] European shares were down slightly in early trading on Friday with all eyes still on a vote on US President Donald Trump's healthcare bill which has been delayed to later in the day.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.2 per cent, while the UK'S FTSE was flat and Germany's DAX down 0.1 per cent. Traders said markets could react negatively if the bill is rejected.

"An eventual failure could let down investors," said LCG analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

"Yet it is worth noting that the major market focus is still on the fiscal plans and the Trump administration could carry on with its expansive fiscal plans regardless of a disappointment on the healthcare bill," LCG's Ozkardeskaya added.

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European sectoral indexes were showing small moves, between a 0.6 percent fall and a 0.4 per cent rise, as caution prevailed.

Credit Suisse rose 0.8 per cent after Switzerland's second biggest bank released its report and AGM agenda which contained no indication of reported plans to carry out a share sale that could raise 3 billion Swiss francs.

Among outstanding movers, Smiths Group was the biggest gainer on the Stoxx, up 3.7 per cent, after the British engineering firm stuck to its full-year outlook as growth in its detection unit helped boost first-half profit.

The top faller was Bollore, down 4.4 per cent, following its annual results and news of an offer for Blue Solutions.